Walmart.com and Canadian-based Shopify have joined to expand marketplace offerings on the retail giant’s flagship site. Jeff Clementz, vice president of Walmart Marketplace, said the deal comes as Walmart.com continues to expand e-commerce marketplace customers and inventory offerings.
He said the Shopify marketplace platform that more than one million small businesses use to sell goods online can also have their listings on the Walmart Marketplace. Once seen as a competitor to Walmart.com, the two businesses are now working together.
“As our CEO Doug McMillon recently said, competition is good in the retail business, and we want more retailers not fewer,” Clementz noted in his blog post on Monday.
He said the new partnership allows Walmart to offer customers an expanded assortment while also giving small businesses access to surging traffic on Walmart.com. He also said “growing our Marketplace is a strategic priority, and we are going to be smart as we grow. We will start integrating new sellers now and expect to add 1,200 Shopify sellers this year.”
The move comes as Walmart and Shopify each saw robust increases in their respective e-commerce businesses in the first quarter as COVID-19 shuttered many brick and mortar stores. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports U.S. e-commerce sales grew 74% in the first quarter. Also, growth in marketplace sales outpaced the overall business even as first-party sales were strong.
Satish Kanwar, vice president of product at Shopify, said more than 120 million Americans visit Walmart.com each month discovering and buying an increased assortment of products from a wide range of categories and businesses.
“Shopify’s new Walmart channel will enable our merchants to get their products in front of these high-intent, loyal buyers from one of the world’s largest retailers, helping them expand their reach and drive sales,” Kanwar said.
Shopify said the benefits to marketplace sellers on Walmart.com include additional exposure to their products for no additional monthly fees. Unlike other marketplaces, Walmart sellers don’t pay fees to list their products. They only pay referral fees when they make sales. Shopify sellers will also get inventory and order management within Shopify who will automatically keep merchant’s products synced on Walmart.com making it easy to track products, orders, inventory and fulfillment from within Shopify.
Shopify’s Walmart channel also allows merchants to add and manage product information in bulk, all from one place, when connecting to Walmart.com. This saves merchants time and effort when listing many different products and product variables.
Retail analyst Carol Spieckerman is a good deal for both parties.
“Walmart’s partnership with Shopify brings product diversity, small business credibility and passive income to the Walmart.com marketplace. Shopify sellers gain unprecedented visibility and reach through Walmart’s e-commerce platform. There is an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ element to the deal as well. Shopify will be positioned alongside the world’s biggest retailer rather than as an alternative to it,” Spieckerman said.